Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Christopher Newport (c. 1560–1617) was the English captain of the Susan Constant, the ship which carried settlers for the Virginia Company in 1607 on the way to found the Jamestown Colony in North America.
For fifteen years, Newport had been a privateer who raided Spanish freighters off and on in the Caribbean. The spoils from these missions was shared with London merchants who funded them. Over the years he commanded a series of privateer ships, including the Little John, the Margaret, and the Golden Dragon. In August 1592, he captured the Spanish ship the Madre de Dios, off the Azores, taking the greatest English plunder of the century. His ship returned to port in England carrying five hundred tons of spices, silks, gemstones, and other treasures.
It was Newport's experience as well as his reputation which led to his hiring by the Virginia Company. On December 19, 1606, Newport set sail from London with three ships: the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery.
In June 1607, Newport returned to England for supplies and more settlers, leaving behind 104 colonists. When he returned to Jamestown the next year, most of the settlers had died from starvation, Indian attacks or disease. It is said that Newport prevented John Smith from being executed for failing to protect his men from Indian attack.
Newport made a fourth trip to America in 1609, as captain of the Sea Venture and "Vice Admiral" of the Third Supply and was shipwrecked off of Bermuda, in an incident which is often credited as the inspiration for Shakespeare's play The Tempest.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details